ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- University of Michigan women's soccer head coach Greg Ryan announced today (Monday, Feb. 16) the commitment ofseven recruits for the 2009 season. The Wolverines received National Letters of Intent from Alyssa Engstrom, a defender/midfielder from West Hills, Calif.; Holly Hein, a forward from Castaic, Calif.; Eunnie Kim, a midfielder/forward from Hubley, Nova Scotia, Canada; McKenzie McGoldrick, a midfielder from Torrance, Calif.; and Lindsey Thut, a defender from Kildeer, Ill. Michigan also received commitments from Kristin Darby, a goalkeeper from Rockford, Mich.; Susie Dunner, a goalkeeper from Pacific Palisades, Calif.;
"I am very pleased with our 2009 recruiting class. The players that we are bringing in will definitely compliment the players that we have on our team," Ryan said. "One of the areas that we really needed to improve on was the central players. We had an imbalance of wide players compared to central players and the players that we are bringing in are primarily ones that play in the middle of the field. I think that this year we will be stronger in midfield and stronger up front and hopefully remain strong in the back."
Engstrom, a product of Chaminade Preparatory, tallied seven goals and three assists as a junior and has 14 points through six games as a senior. A 2007-08 All-Mission League girls' soccer first team selection, she led her squad to a 10-5-8 record and a second-place finish in the Mission League. She plays her club soccer for the Valley United Stars.
"She is a very strong, hard-nosed defender from California," Ryan said. "Alyssa is a real leader; a player who plays in the center of the defense and a player you can count on to hold her own defensively against most opponents."
Hein, who played for West Ranch High School and Real SoCal Premier, is rated as a four-star prospect by TopDrawerSoccer.com and ranked as the publications 63rd-best prospect. She was part of the Irvine Strikers when they claimed the 2007 U.S. Club and 2006 USYS national championships. Hein also won a pair of Surf Cup titles with Real SoCal. In 2006, she was part of the Cal South Olympic Development Program summer pool.
"Holly is a fantastic target player with great skills, strength, vision and touch," Ryan said. "Holly is not only a goal scorer, but she is great in the air, she has got great striking technique and she is also the type of player who will get multiple assists because she has great vision and touch."
Kim, a product of Sir John A MacDonald High School, brings experience as a pool player for Canada's U16 national team. Playing for the Halifax City Quincy's, she competed in the 2006 National Championships U16 Girls All-Star Selects and 2007 BMO National Championships Senior Women's Club Championship. Kim's speed also earned her the opportunity to train with the Dalhousie University track team for a year, specializing in the 100- and 200-meter races.
"Eunnie had an injury and fortunately for us people didn't notice her, so we are very happy to have her signing with us," Ryan said. "She is a very versatile attacking player. She is a very good goal scorer, great in the air, very fast, very skillful and will create assists and goals for our team."
McGoldrick comes from Bishop Montgomery High School where she led her team to its first CIF division IV championship in six years. En route to the title in 2007-08, she was named league MVP and earned All-CIF and all-division first team laurels. She was an all-league first team selection as a sophomore and made the second team as a freshman.
"McKenzie plays an attacking midfield but is very versatile," Ryan said. "She could even play an outside defense for us and give us another player who can attack from the defense. She is very skillful, great vision and touch."
Thut, a defender from Stevenson High School and the Eclipse Soccer Club, has been a part of five Midwest Regional League championships and was a 2008 U.S. Youth Soccer National League champion. In addition to her club experience, Thut spent two years as a part of the Illinois Olympic Development Program. Her sister, Lauren, is a sophomore defender at Marquette.
"Lindsey can play inside or outside defense," Ryan said. "She is a very solid defender that I think will come in and add to the depth of our defense, which we didn't have last year."
Darby has enjoyed a strong prep career at Rockford High School. She began her tenure as the school's starting goalkeeper as a freshman, earning all-state honorable mention in 2006 along with all-region and all-district selections. As a sophomore, she earnedMHSAA OK-Red all-conference andall-district honors. As ajunior year,Darby guided herschool to a district championshipwitheight shutouts on the season including a string of six straight.
"Kristin has got all the talent but at the college level she will be tested," Ryan said. "She is an impressive goalie in terms of the key ingredients -- presence, shot stopping and ability to handle crosses."
Dunner assumed the starting role at Brentwood High School in her freshman year. She guided her team to three consecutive league titles and, as a sophomore, was tabbed all-league second team.
"Susie is a very good goalkeeper that will add to our depth," Ryan said. "Susie brings a lot of high-level experience and a hard-work mentality."
Michigan graduated five seniors from the 2008 roster: Skylar Andrews(Dallas, Texas/Plano West Senior), Madison Gates(Baldwinsville, N.Y./C.W. Baker), Katie Miler(Columbus, Ohio/Worthington Kilbourne), Kristin Thomas(Centennial, Colo./Cherry Creek) and Danelle Underwood(Grand Rapids, Mich./Forest Hills Northern).
Contact: Ryan Sosin (734) 763-4423